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7860 Mission Center Ct, Suite 209
San Diego, CA, 92108

858.354.4077

At The Center for Stress and Anxiety Management, our psychologists have years of experience. Unlike many other providers, our clinicians truly specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety and related problems. Our mission is to apply only the most effective short-term psychological treatments supported by extensive scientific research. We are located in Rancho Bernardo, Carlsbad, and Mission Valley.

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Read our award-winning blogs for useful information and tips about anxiety, stress, and related disorders.

 

Filtering by Tag: psychology

How To Listen When Someone You Love Is Struggling

Jill Stoddard

by Annabelle Parr

Life presents us each with challenges.  While it is often uncomfortable and painful to grapple with adversity, to experience this struggle and to feel pain is to be human.  At some point, we will all find ourselves in this place, as will those we love.  So how can we help each other?  How can we listen when someone we love is struggling, whether it is with a mental health condition or with a painful experience in his/her life?

 LET GO OF THE IMPULSE TO TRY TO FIX

Source URL: https://scott-williams.ca/2013/03/

Source URL: https://scott-williams.ca/2013/03/

It is painful to watch someone we care for struggle or hurt.  And it’s natural to want to take away her pain or try to fix the problem at hand.  However, despite our best intentions, trying to “fix” does not actually help.  It tends to make the person struggling feel as though she cannot share her pain, sadness, or anger.  Trying to “fix” sends this message: “I can’t handle seeing you in pain, so I have to make everything better.”  It also implies that it is not okay to feel sad or angry or anxious, and that these feelings should be avoided at all costs.

AVOID ADVICE

Just like our impulse to fix the pain, we also often believe that the best way to help is to offer advice.  But advice is usually not helpful for several reasons.

  1. If we offer good advice, our loved one will think that anytime he is struggling, he needs our instruction. 
  2. If we offer bad advice or our advice doesn’t work as we hoped, our loved one can place the blame on us instead of owning responsibility.
  3. Advice takes away the gift of helping our loved one to realize that she knows herself best, and ultimately she is capable of navigating difficult situations herself.  (Though, of course, she will always have our love and support).

LIMIT SHARING YOUR OWN SIMILAR EXPERIENCES

Source URL:  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/the-biggest-communication-problem-not-listen-understand.html

Source URL:  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/the-biggest-communication-problem-not-listen-understand.html

If you have had a similar experience or believe that you have felt the same way, you can share this with your loved one.  But don’t make it all about you.  Keep your story brief, and make sure the purpose of the story is to let him know that he is not alone.  Also, be sure to include that you understand that your experience, while maybe parallel in some ways, is yours, and you are not claiming to have experienced the exact same situation or feelings.  This allows him to feel comfort in not being alone, but also gives him space to communicate how his experience may be different.

If we shouldn’t try to fix the pain or offer advice, and we should limit how much we share of our own experience, what can we do to help?

REFLECT OR PARAPHRASE BACK TO YOUR LOVED ONE WHAT YOU HEAR HIM/HER EXPRESSING

This shows that we are listening, and gives us the opportunity to clarify that which we don’t understand fully.  While it may sound too simple to just reflect what our loved one is saying, it actually makes the person feel heard and understood.  It also offers her the opportunity to hear what she is expressing, and to clarify how she feels or what she wants.

USE NONVERBAL SIGNALS TO SHOW YOU ARE ENGAGED

Nodding and using eye contact and engaged body language shows that we are interested and open to what our loved one is sharing.  It gives him the space to express himself, and makes him feel heard.

SHOW EMPATHY

Empathy is: “I see that you are struggling and hurting right now, and I am so sorry.  I can’t fix it for you or take it away, but I will sit here with you and listen to your story.  As much as this hurts, it is okay to feel this way.”

Check out Brene Brown’s brilliant short on empathy.

Sometimes, all our loved ones need when they are in pain is to be heard; to be given a space with someone they trust to express how they are feeling.  Sometimes, however, they may need some extra support or professional help.

CSAM IS HERE TO HELP

If you or someone you love might benefit from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or biofeedback for anxiety, depression, stress, or PTSD, or if you would like more information about our therapy services, please contact us at (858) 354-4077 or at csamsandiego@gmail.com.

REFERENCES:
Brown, B.  (2013, Dec 10).  Brené Brown on empathy. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

 

The Importance of Clinical Research

Jill Stoddard

By: Sarah Bond

Clinical research is fundamental to the advancement and understanding of the field of psychology.  It is important not to underestimate the significance that clinical research has had upon the development and implementation of psychological interventions.  This is accomplished by randomly selecting a subset of the population to serve as a sample in which the potential effect(s) of a given variable are observed.  Clinical research provides practitioners and researchers with insight into the effectiveness of the associated variable(s) under study.  It helps us examine isolated factors that may not be clearly evident outside of a controlled setting.  For example, we may examine the clinical treatment outcome of a specific intervention to determine whether or not it is an effective treatment for a given disorder.

In order to further advance standards of care, we must compare current treatment options to novel interventions.  This challenges us to continuously advance our understanding of the most relevant and beneficial treatments available for our clients.  We have an ethical obligation to ensure that we understand how a given intervention will likely influence the treatment outcome prior to determining the best approach to utilize when helping a client.

Clinical studies provide findings that allow practitioners to analyze data and generalize interpretations to help their clients.  For instance, both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) have been indicated by clinical research to be efficacious treatments for anxiety disorders as well as many other conditions (e.g., depression, chronic pain, eating disorders).  Clinical research provides a means for psychologists to determine the best type of treatment for their clients.

Most clinical studies utilize human participants.  There are strict ethical guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA) that must be ensured prior to and throughout administration.  For this reason, all academic research studies must submit a research proposal to be reviewed by the respective university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).  In doing so, the IRB is obligated to determine whether or not a given study is ethical prior to implementation.  During the study, participants are asked to sign an informed consent, which is similar to a contract.  It thoroughly explains the intention and potential risks associated with the study.  If any deception is used, it is mandatory to debrief participants following administration.

In essence, clinical research is important to providing optimal client care.  It not only deepens our understanding of current practices, but it also helps us advance and learn about new treatment options that can potentially improve treatment outcomes.  We depend upon clinical studies to help us understand how different variables influence our daily lives.

If you are interested in being a participant in clinical research, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/Paidresearchsandiego.

Tags: San Diegopsychologypsychologistresearchclinical research